Student Government meets with Security

Aubrey Zych, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, John O’Brien, director of Security, and Dr. Deborah Cady Melzer, vice-president of Student Development, sat down with Student Government members to find solutions to the ongoing student complaints regarding campus security.
The group’s key complaint was regarding the distribution of parking tickets and fines. Currently, Le Moyne’s system states that cars that are illegally parked on campus will receive three tickets before being towed at the owner’s expense. Each time a car is ticketed, a fine ranging from $20 to $40 is issued. However, if a student receives a parking ticket, he or she has the option of appealing it online within 15 days of issuance.
According to O’Brien, the appeal committee that renders the decision is made up of both students and security staff. Collectively, the committee appeals 54 percent of the tickets they receive.
Members agreed that each lot needs to be better labeled in order to ensure that there is no confusion as to where students can and cannot park. Additionally, members suggested that every student be given a warning for their first parking offense, rather than automatically being issued a ticket and large fine.
Student Government member Emily Ianno also suggested to O’Brien that the appeal committee be given more structured guidelines to follow while making a decision, so that every student is treated equally.
“There needs to be more consistency,” said Ianno. “My roommate and I once appealed our parking tickets together. We sent in the exact same appeals, word for word. Her ticket was appealed and mine wasn’t.”
Another major issue was the seemingly low number of available parking spaces on campus. Some members suggested not permitting freshmen to have cars on campus, while others mentioned expanding the current lots to construct more spaces.
Another SGA member, Jules Shelton, proposed that the school do more to encourage carpooling for students who live off-campus, and rewarding them through better parking spaces or cheaper parking passes.
O’Brien and Melzer informed members that, according to the Admissions Department, a significant number of high school seniors who were interested in Le Moyne would likely opt out of attending if freshmen were not allowed to have cars on campus. Moreover, constructing parking spaces is extremely expensive, and numerically, there are enough spaces for every registered car.
Finally, SGA members expressed their desire for more means of transportation on campus. Members agreed that a shuttle bus would be much more economic than driving and could reduce the number of student drivers.
O’Brien explained that Le Moyne once had a system with Centro in which the bus would pick students up on campus to bring them around the city. This system was eliminated two years ago because of too few riders.
Krystal Ashey, a freshman representative for the SGA, explained that many times, she and her friends have wanted to go off-campus for something quick to eat, but never know when the bus schedule is, so they would resort to driving one of their own cars. If times and locations of the bus were posted around campus, Ashey noted, perhaps more students would take advantage of it.
SGA members agreed that the bus schedule needs to be posted around campus, specifically in the residence buildings. Members are hopeful that this will increase the number of riders, and the system with Centro could make a comeback.
Members closed the meeting with a greater insight into campus security, and hopeful that their suggestions and ideas will be heard. The SGA also welcomes other ideas, opinions and questions, and can be contacted through their website at lemoyne.campusgroups.com. The organization meets each Wednesday in the Corcoran Lounge above the cafeteria at 9 p.m.